Mat Ryan says he first heard of Arsenal’s interest in him last week, but a move to the Emirates, which was confirmed this morning, accelerated in the last couple of days.
Given most transfers these days start with a few whispers and grow to a deafening crescendo before being confirmed, today’s announcement, which came out of the blue, was a throwback to life before the Internet.
The 28-year-old Australia international joins the Gunners having spent three and a half years with Brighton, for whom he was the first choice keeper until recently.
Speaking to Arsenal.com, Ryan, who will wear the number 33 shirt, revealed: “I probably first found out about the real interest maybe a week or so ago, but as far as I knew at that stage it was still a long way off happening.
“I wasn’t even sure if that was the direction the club would take but probably in the last two days, it’s become more of a reality.
“Having spoken to the likes of Edu, Mikel himself and Inaki [Cana], the goalkeeper coach, as well yesterday, that’s when it all started to feel like it was going to eventuate.”
Ryan went on to reveal that he’s been a long-standing Gooner: “There’s still an aura of surrealness to it all, to be honest.
“I’m really proud, it’s great and it’s hard to sort of put into words the emotions and feeling that this is becoming a reality.
“All those mornings as a young kid in Australia, getting up to watch the Champions League games and all that at four o’clock in the morning when I had school and these types of things. The support back in the Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp days, all these sorts of things, to now be here fills me with a great sense of pride and achievement.
“I’m just looking to do the best that I can for the club and represent the club in the best possible way and ultimately help the club to achieve more success.”
Best of luck to Mat, who now goes head-to-head with Alex Runarsson and Karl Hein for the right to fill-in for Bernd Leno.